International Groups

Iowa International Center
Dr. Judith Conlin
Executive Director
929 3rd Sreet, Suite 203
Des Moines, IA 50309
(515) 282-8269

"Welcoming the World to Iowa"

Since 1938, the Iowa International Center has been working to fulfill its mission to build cultural respect at home and abroad one person at a time. Throughout the organization's history, the many volunteers who provided leadership and time to the organization always believed the Iowa International Center should be dedicated to international understanding between Iowans and the rest of the world. To this end  we currently administers a variety of programs which aim to connect Iowans with people, ideas and cultures from around the world.

Interpretation & Translation:

Interpretation and translation services provided by experienced language experts in over 30 languages, serving medical, judicial and governmental services  as well as  Individuals and corporations, with 90+%  being natives of their country, helping those they serve to overcome both linguistic and cultural barriers. Our emergency interpretation services are offered free of charge in emergency situations for law enforcement, health and social services. Iowa International Center also provides a program of professional development for all contracted interpreters and translators.

International Visitors:

Community Connections Program:  Sponsored by USAID, Community Connections brings groups of people primarily from the former Soviet Union to Iowa to improve their professional skills but also to gain an understanding of the United States and its people.  Designed to promote public diplomacy and allow visitors to personally connect with Iowans, participants stay with local families throughout their 3-week program.

International Visitor Leadership Program:

Iowa International Center joined the National Council for International Visitor (NCIV) network in 1976 and is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. The purpose of these visits is for international leaders to learn about Iowa, its policies and procedures in business and government, and to enrich the lives of Iowans. These meetings have provided the starting point for many of lasting personal and institutional ties between Iowa and other countries around the globe. Visitors represent a wide variety of fields including government, business and finance, education, law and civic education, communications and the media, foreign relations, arts and culture, and community issues. Typically, visitors spend three to four days in Iowa, meeting with six to ten Iowa colleagues.

Educational Programs:

Passport to Prosperity: An annual signature dinner event which honors the achievements of selected Iowa immigrants and refugees.

DuPont Pioneer-Iowa International Center International Dialogue Series: Speakers on international topics held first Tuesday of each month at the Des Moines Public Library, Central Branch on Grand Ave.

Welcome to Iowa Website:
This groundbreaking website is a critical resource for non-English speaking Iowans, including immigrants, refugees, new visitors as well as service providers – connecting you with the resources you need to live, work and raise a family in Iowa. Utilizing Google Translate, this information is available in 64 languages, making the website the most comprehensive collection of information available.

Welcome to Iowa Guide:
Now in its second printing, the Welcome to Iowa Guide is the first step in the Iowa International Center’s work to create a centralized multilingual access point for individuals and entities to the international resources Iowa has available and provide existent international organizations and entities with enhanced access to those who are served by their mission. The Welcome to Iowa Project accomplishes this mission through a systematic collaborative network accessed through a state-wide written resource guide, published through the Des Moines Business Record and a dynamic, searchable web service.

Printed in eight languages, the International Guide to Iowa is intended to connect newcomers to the resources they need to make a smooth transition, thus embodying the aim of Welcome to Iowa. Iowa’s first multilingual international guide is distributed across the state, providing a valuable resource to global visitors and immigrants looking to live, work and raise a family in the state. In addition to basic emergency services and general needs, the 46-page guide includes information regarding employment opportunities, educational services and medical services.